On a Sunday a few weeks ago, my host parents and I went to Egeskov slot (Egeskvov castle) with their son Martin and his family. It is a beautiful castle close to Odense. Long story short, it's a castle that has always been owned by counts and is, to this day, still being lived in. There is also a wooden doll up in the top that, based on mythology, must stay there or else the house will burn down on christmas day. We were only allowed to see a part of the castle because some roons are still being used, but the best part was actually outdoors. There are tons of parks and places to play (coolest part: a metal "playground" maybe 20-30 ft in the air where you can walk around at the treetops). We had tons of fun!
The wooden doll
Playing around a bit
That evening I stayed with my host brother and his family. The next day I went to work with his girlfriend who teaches at an elementary school in Odense.
My day of "Teaching" English:
I spent a day in Odense helping out with 3 english classes (from 3rd to 5th grade). It was great seeing how much English the students know and seeing the questions they asked about myself and Florida (it was a refreshing change from the questions my Rotary club asks.... getting asked questions like "have you ever been bitten by a shark" is way more entertaining than "how many people live in your town".)
Presenting for the 4th graders
Weekend in Odense:
The next weekend I went back to my host brother and his girlfriend in Odense. My host parents were going to the Opera in Copenhagen, so I got to spend some time with one of their sons.
We had a great time in Odense (it was me and my host brother along with his girlfriend). Aside from spending time together relaxing and watching some great movies, we went to the zoo for a day. I got to see tigers along with tons of other animals, which I, of course, LOVED! I have to admit I didn't realize I missed working at a zoo so much. The best thing in the zoo was the "open" enclosure for spider monkeys. There was an enclosure where guests could actually go in with the spider monkeys. I'm sure most Americans are dying with how unsafe it sounds, but there was a zookeeper present and I was surprised by how well thought out it was.
Just two of the adorable spider monkeys
If you don't know that the animals behind me are penguins than, well... I have no response for you
Last official week of school:
The past week was my last week of school. I will return back one day but that is at the end of June and just a goodbye party. Due to my eurotour starting on the 15th and my class's study vacation (they get a vaction to study for their exams), this was my last week.
It is hard knowing that I won't be returning for another year of school. I will no longer walk through the halls laughing with classmates or suffer through boring classes with facebook as my only entertainment. I did bring in chocolate cupcakes for my classmates and friends and promised to give a real goodbye at our official last day together, as well as promise to return someday.
Last evening with my 3rd host family:
Tonight has been my last evening living my "normal" life with my 3rd host family. My host mom will be having an operation tomorrow and on tuesday I leave for eurotour.
We had a great dinner and dessert and said our "goodbye's" since I'll be coming back, but won't be living here officially any longer. I gave them some gifts from Florida and, to my surprise, I got gifts from them. They gave me a hoptimist (google them) which is something very danish that I'd loved all year as well as a homemade advent candle holder (to hold four candles- one for each of the last 4 sundays leading to Christmas) which is a Danish tradition I'd been hoping to bring home.
It has been wonderful living with this family and I can't believe my time here is ending. It's hard to think that 3/4th of my exchange are gone and the last few months will go even faster.
Host Family update:
Obviously, I won't be living with my 3rd host family after my eurotour. Due to some things that have occured this year, I will be moving back to my 2nd host family after eurotour instead of having a 4th famil.
I will leave May 15th for eurotour. We will go to 8 countries over 18 days and I'll be on a bus with about 50 other exchange students. I honestly can't wait!
Life is life. I have been busy spending time with my friends... infact I spent this entire weekend with two of my good friends here in Denmark. Friday I went to a 50's American style diner with one of my best friends and then had a guacamole/criminal minds sleepover (yes, we are strange people).
I have been busy living my life here trying to not think about leaving as much as possible. Everytime I think about going back to Florida, I honestly want to curl in a ball and hide so that nobody can make me leave this country. Unfortunately, I can't do that. Luckily for me I have made great friends and families here in Denmark that I'll never forget, which is all I could've asked for. I also have great people and things to come back to in Florida.
Life in Denmark is amazing, but I will be leaving it in 2 days to go on my eurotour and soon after that I'll be leaving for my "real home" in Florida. For now, I'm living in the moment. I currently am trying to stop myself from peeing my pants in excitement over eurotour. I know it will be a great trip and I am so thankful I have the opportunity to go on eurotour.
Until next time.